How To Not Trash Your Comic Book Legacy

The journey is the romp that makes your life worth living. Everyone starts in the same place–the womb. Everyone ends up in the same place — the grave. The journey is what makes us different. It defines your character–who you are by how you see yourself and how others see you. All the problems and excitements of life are worked out in the journey. Who is going on this journey with you? If life is a movie, live life in such a way, as to make the journey well worth the price of admission.

I was looking at the formula for last post. The Journey will be in the TIME variable. In the equation:

Wow, These have been some pretty heavy topics I’ve been talking about aren’t they? YOUR PASSION, YOUR COMPANIONS, and now TIME. Daniel, why don’t you just give me some useful info on comics? Well, honestly, I’m sorry to say it, but there is a whole world out there, and we just can’t stay in our little self-absorbed world forever. If we are going to break-out and make astronomical changes, you have to get a BIG PICTURE view. Don’t fail to see that people make the comics. If we are to make the best comics in the future, we have to have people who are going to be strong, be talented, to have high character, to do the work, to not be burned out, to continually learn, and to keep motivating others to do their best. We are all in this together, and we don’t have much time before our individual part in the story will end.

I’ll ease your concerns right up front, though, this will not be a post about time management. You can’t manage time. You can only manage yourself in what you do with the time given us. I’ll cover that in another post. This post is about the BIG PICTURE. Everybody gets their time to live and then your time to die. There is not 24 hours in a day. It is only our most accurate assessment. We put these institutions of hours, minutes, and seconds in our lives so we can feel like we are in control of something, and so we can feel guilty when we don’t get enough done in a day. We really do forget a lot of history, don’t we? I recently read that they didn’t even have centralized time zones until about the early 1900s when they started developing trains. People had to have a way to get to the train on time — thus the need for a centralized time zone. When they carried people or freight, the people across the country or would have to know when their package would arrive. Modern businesses keep capitalizing on this by turning people into human machines to turn out their widgets. Time clocks make this a lot easier to justify firing people and quantify our level of productivity. Sad. Instead of trying you fit your life into your time schedule, try to fit your time schedule into your life. When we talked about the HEART, we talked about your life exploding out of you. This is in the fiber of your being, when you are doing that consistently, you will get more out of each day than any you can possibly imagine.

Let’s take a fresh perspective of time in its simplest form. Day. Night. Grow. Produce.

DAY. Going on a journey is hard work and adventurous. There should be no shortcuts if we want the kind of experience that will be worth the ending. We know this is true, by the way we write our stories. Who wants to read a story about a ring being dropped in Mt. Doom? Or an evil witch being defeated? Or the race being won? That is kind of boring isn’t it? And short. We are engaged in stories based on the journey the character goes on, the relationships the character builds throughout the story, and the decisions he/she makes. Why should we expect anything less in our own lives? Your life isn’t an ending. It’s the journey, and it makes the end that much more exciting and pleasant if the journey was worth it. Don’t worry so much about your final product of life. Focus on creating the best journey you can at this stage of your life right now. Make this decision everyday and I’m pretty sure the final product will come out just fine.

Let’s take a fresh perspective of time in its simplest form. Day. Night. Grow. Produce.

NIGHT. On our journey, we have all the time in the world, until our time is up. We want to make the most of the time we have because we don’t know when that will be. We need time to rest. Rest when you need to rest. Thomas Edison got by pretty well on 4 hours of rest a night because when you are living in your constant state of passion, it invigorates you and it keeps you moving forward. You become rested and energized as you produce. That’s one reason why we can stay up so late when we are drawing, or pull all nighters when we are on a coloring deadline, or stay up until 4 a.m. playing World of Warcraft. Of course, Thomas Edison also missed out on his wedding night because he was in his workshop all night–Passion is a double-edged blade.

I wonder if you’ve seen the email that describes a teacher with a mayonnaise jar talking to his students. He describes the air in the mayonnaise jar as all the TIME we have in this life. He tells the class to put some golf balls in the JAR. This is the family, the relationships, the people that matter in your life. Then he puts in some small pebbles. These are the things we have to do, like the laundry and the dishes. Then he fills the rest up with sand, representing the little non-significant things in our life, like watching T.V. , lounging around, goofing off, checking the mail etc. Then he says, if we put the sand in the jar first, then we don’t have time for the things that really matter in life. Good point, huh? Put those relationships first. Treat ourselves right. Well, it sounds good, and that’s all we really want, right? To feel good. To feel all fluttery with warm feelings and to think we are a better person because of it. Dreamy. Not Real.

GROW. Time to shatter the Mayonnaise jar. This is life! Enjoy it. Live it. Work your butt off. Reap the rewards, play. Have fun. I was trying to think of a better analogy, every analogy breaks down at some level–but if you think of time like a balloon and your life as a bag of concrete that you pour into a balloon. Then you pour water in the balloon and mix it up and keep pouring both in. And see how much life you can cram into your balloon. The balloon will pop eventually when you are dead. You are gone. But look at all that life that has just exploded out of it. Now is when your legacy will be determined. If you had a companion helping you fill up the balloon with his life, he could drop more concrete in for you, even when you are dead. And perhaps, someone else comes along and can keep adding more and more water to that great pile of a life you’ve built together, then someone else comes along and keeps mixing it. Now their time and their lives are intertwined with yours and your efforts instead of a little bubble of a life you have an intense glob of concrete that probably breaks the teacher’s desk! Once people stop pouring into your life, the concrete hardens–cracks. The administrators will either use a jackhammer to break away the concrete and throw it out, or a sculptor will fashion it into a memorial. Either way, once the people stop the mixing, you’re done. You want to work in such a way that your legacy never dies. It constantly is adding value to people’s life, so that when you are gone, your legacy will live through the relationships you’ve left behind.

PRODUCE. You have one life. I want you to live it. I want every fiber of your being to be spent doing ALL the things that make your life worth living. Your life is what makes you who YOU are. I have gotten a lot of life on my journey to build relationships with people from watching a T.V. Show (sand). I have shared a lot of life on my journey with others from the work that I do (little stones). My life is made from the relationships I form with others on my journey (golf balls). There is not one thing in your life that will take away from who you are. They are all intertwined –one life, yours (one big concrete slab). All of our inconsistencies, our neglects, our bad habits, our fears—they make us who we are. We can’t discount them. But the good news is we can’t discount our strengths either– our loves, our passion, our work, our freedom, our thoughts. This is why we live. Let’s spend our time living in these strength areas and don’t worry about the things we think as negative. Chances are those areas that we see as negative traits may change a life someday in a positive way we would never expect it to. Those who you repel on your journey will find their own way with another. Those who you attract on your journey will probably be lifelong companions and may even help you pour some concrete.

Let’s take a fresh perspective of time in its simplest form. Don’t worry about the numbers or the schedules. Focus on Living Your Passions and Growing Your Relationships—Day by Day. One Night at a time. Grow. Produce Life On Your Journey!